The costs of a nursing home stay or other long-term care can be devastating to a family’s finances. At an average cost of $7,500 per month in the Toledo, Ohio area, an extended stay in a nursing home can quickly cause a family to lose their life savings. If you have a spouse or an elderly parent who is in a nursing home already, or if you see that is a possibility for the future, you need to learn how to protect their assets from a nursing home spend-down or other healthcare related issue.
Long-term care planning is a critical element in setting up the estate plan of an elderly family member or yourself. This kind of planning can help take care of your parents and elderly family members and protect their assets.
Being Proactive in Elder Law Planning can enable you to:
Reduce or even eliminate nursing home bills
Protect your spouse from a nursing home spend-down
Protect your life savings you worked so hard to earn
Increase the amount of income you actually get to keep
Pass on an inheritance to your children (without vulnerability)
Save the family home or any other important family assets
TYPES OF ELDER LAW PLANNING
Depending on when you start your Elder Law planning, you will have different options available to you. In our office, we distinguish between two types of Elder Law planning situations: proactive planning and crisis planning.
Proactive Planning is that planning which is done before any person is in a nursing home, or before their nursing home stay is imminent. It can be done as early as desired, and can be as late as one year before a nursing home stay. With proactive planning we use asset protection trusts to shelter your assets. Because this planning is done in advance, it is less expensive and easier to implement.
When a loved one is in the nursing home already, or if nursing home care is needed within a few months, we refer to this planning as Crisis Planning. With Crisis Planning, there are many different tools available, depending on the particular circumstances. This planning is more complex, and is more expensive to implement. However, the planning is done so that the person immediately qualifies for Medicaid benefits, making Crisis Planning extremely effective and valuable.